Arson investigators spend hours searching for clues about fire that destroyed apartments

SAFD: 8 families were displaced by fire

San Antonio arson investigators have spent hours carefully combing through what remains of a Northwest Side apartment complex.

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio arson investigators have spent hours carefully combing through what remains of a Northwest Side apartment complex.

An entire building at the Residences at Medical apartments were destroyed by the fire, which broke out shortly after 12 a.m. Monday.

RELATED: 8 families displaced by fire that destroyed NW Side apartment building

Eight families who lived in the complex, located in the 2500 block of Babcock, were displaced.

The fire started on the ground floor, then burned into the attic. (KSAT 12 News)

One man who spoke off-camera to KSAT12 said he woke up to the smell of smoke, then noticed fire on a neighbor’s patio.

He and others in the building say they never heard any smoke alarms or smoke detectors go off.

Somehow everyone in the building made it out safely, according to firefighters.

They say the fire appeared to start on the ground floor then spread into the attic, affecting all eight units in the building.

Although arson investigators had not located the exact cause of the fire by late Monday morning, one fire investigator stopped short of calling it suspicious.

He said he could “not rule out human involvement.”

Some of the displaced residents said they were left with nowhere to go after losing their homes.

People could be seen sitting on the curb and sleeping in their cars in the parking lot during the early morning hours.

Several residents said they were not offered any accommodations by the apartment’s management team nor the American Red Cross.

An on-site manager refused to answer any questions, instead referring KSAT12 to the apartment’s corporate office in Austin.

Email and voicemail messages left there were not returned right away.

A spokesman for SAFD, Woody Woodward, said firefighters did call for the American Red Cross to help the families.

However, he said he never saw volunteers show up during the time he was there.

KSAT12 also has reached out to the American Red Cross for comment, but the agency has yet to respond.


About the Authors:

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Tim has been a photojournalist and video editor at KSAT since 1998. He came to San Antonio from Lubbock, where he worked in TV and earned his bachelor's degree in Electronic Media and Communication from Texas Tech University. Tim has won a handful of awards and has earned a master's in Strategic Communication and Innovation from Tech as well.